ZOOming In: Representation and Resistance

This study seeks to analyze the representation of Aetas in two texts: their performance in Zoobic Safari as a product of negotiation and means of resistance, and in Buhay Aeta, a television documentary that continues to exoticize indigenous culture.

It is guided by the postcolonial notions of Edward Said’s Orientalism, particularly the concepts of othering and exoticization, as well as a discussion by Rey Chow about resistance within postcolonial discourse. This study primarily employs textual analysis, along with ethnography as a secondary method, in order to examine the representation of Aetas in Zoobic.

This thesis provides a background of Zoobic Safari and the Aeta program it exhibits. It traces how indigenous identity has been represented in the context of our colonial past. This maps out the tradition of indigenous identity we inherited from our colonial experience. It then analyzes the representation of Aetas in Zoobic, and explains how their performance is a means of resistance against oppression. This study then looks into Buhay Aeta, a broadcast text, and explores the exoticized representation of indigenous identity within the show. Finally, it aims to provide a criticism of how the broadcast industry manufactures truth claims about our indigenous people.

Keywords: Aeta, Zoobic Safari, Buhay Aeta, indigenous identity, representation, resistance


HIMALA, A.C. (2012). [Zoo]ming In: An Analysis of the Representation of Aetas in Zoobic Safari and Buhay Aeta. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

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